There is something to be said for using just one company to provide all your technological needs. I have chosen Apple mainly because I like the feeling of quality and ease of use. It is extremely useful to have a system that just all works together. It’s easy when you don’t have to massage and manipulate various systems to work together. For a year and a half I tried to integrate using Android and some Google products alongside MyMac. It’s kind of worked, but it did feel that I was having to mess about and fiddle with things more than I wanted to. I didn’t feel like I was getting the optimum experience from my technology. It did make things a little bit more interesting, in that it gave me stuff to play with and to work out. The trouble is, is that over time it didn’t get any better and due to Android upgrade problems, it actually got little bit worse. So I was delighted, to turn my back on the dark side and stick to just using Apple products. I gave away my Android phone and tablet and bought the iPhone 6 and an iPad Air 2. I have been deliriously happy ever since. I’m even more delighted now I have been able to add the Apple Watch into the mix.
The first couple of weeks with the Apple Watch
Right from the first day, the Apple Watch has been a joy to use. This is despite the fact that it hasn’t been perfect. I have had a couple of applications that have crashed and the occasion where the iPhone and the watch wouldn’t talk to each other. Despite these little hiccups, it’s been great to pass off some of the things I would do with the iPhone over to the watch. I like the health and fitness features provided and it has made a game of keeping my body in good shape. When the watch tells me that I should stand up for a little while I’m grateful. This is because when I get that tap on the wrist I usually think, “Goodness me! Didn’t that hour go very quickly indeed.” The goals set with the Apple Watch are good. It looks at the number of calories to burn, 30 minutes of exercise per day and to have one minute of standing per hour for 12 hours. It feels good complete the circles in the application on the watch. It feels good to see the consecutive days of the goals completed in the activity application on the iPhone. It feels good to get the little achievement badges such as the cute badge you get for having a perfect week of achieving the stand goal. These achievement badges also arrive into the Activity Application on the iPhone from the Workout Application on the watch. So for instance, you get recognition for doing your first walking workout or your first running workout.
Journaling and life logging using the Apple Watch
I have a terrible memory, but I would still like to be able to remember my life events. So I like to keep a journal. There are lots of different reasons why you would keep a journal. I will go into that in detail in the Good and Geeky Life Logging Book. It’s a good idea to have a system in place to remind you to post to the journal. When I’m using Day One I have it set to give me a reminder once per day on my Mac. I could give myself similar reminders using the iOS devices I use. Making it quick and easy to add small posts to a journal does help an awful lot. I am pleased with the Day One Apple Watch integration. I can easily make short posts directly from the watch. You can set up six standard short phrases, just tap and insert into your Day One journal. Add recent photos taken with the iPhone into Journal posts and you can also dictate short pieces of text.
Using the Day One Apple Watch application.
When you open the application on the watch it opens up quick, no waiting for it to populate the screen. In the top left part of the application you see an icon to add a location post into Day One. The top right is a microphone symbol you tap on to start recording a dictation. You can easily record six or seven seconds of dictation before the screen will go black. This gives you time for a couple of sentences. If the screen goes black, you will lose the words you have just dictated. When you click on done in the top right-hand corner of the screen, you get to the next screen. From here you can read the dictation and click on done if you only want a short Day One journal post. You can also use the microphone symbol more times and add extra text to the journal post. Whenever you have finished, you click on done and your post will also record your location into the application. It also records the weather conditions at your location. You can if you wish, add tags and you can favourite the post using the button you see by scrolling further down the application. You then see a blue dot on the screen telling you that your post has been created, before it takes you back to the input screen.
Default entries in the Apple Watch Day One application allow you to say whether you are working, watching television, eating something, exercising or reading. It is also will show you recent entries, but they do take a while to come in from the iPhone. If you go to the settings for the application you get the option to add a recent photo, if you have taken one in the last hour. You start this sort of post off by tapping on the icon on the watch that looks like a camera. The controls are quite simple and you can do fairly long posts if you want. It can be a little bit uncomfortable to hold your wrist in the right position for a long time to complete these posts. The best way to use Day One on the Apple Watch is to write the short posts. You are best to be keeping it short on the watch and use such posts as a prompt for when you get into the full application on the Mac or in iOS.
Using Heyday on the Apple watch for journalling
This is another journalling application that can be quite handy to use. When you open the application the first choice on the list is to make a quick note by dictation. You press the button and start talking and Siri will do the business. Click on done when you have finished and your life log will be recorded into the application. The next option on the list to look at is Today. Tap on that to see the entries you made for the day. You can scroll down to see previous entries within the application. There are a couple of tools that are worth using within this application. I feel that Heyday will benefit from some improving. For journalling, Day One is my go to application on the watch, just as it is on my Mac and my iOS devices. I’ll be looking forward to seeing how this application develops over time. Top Tip – Hold down the digital crown to make Siri keep listening for longer.
Controlling audio with the Apple Watch
Controlling audio from Overcast Podcast app and from Kindle books with narration, is one of my biggest uses of the Apple Watch so far. There is a Now Playing glance I can use to pause, alter the volume and to do a thirty second fast forward or fast rewind. Saves me lots of time for not getting the phone out and it saves the battery on the phone too. The Overcast app was updated once and possible twice since the advent of the Apple Watch specifically to make improvements to the Apple Watch user interface for the app. There is also the Overcast glance with three icons, the first on the left shows what is playing now and you can set the next two podcasts in a playlist. There is also the play, pause and 30 second jumps available. With the Now Playing Glance there is a better volume control, you can change how loud it is playing with the digital crown.